How many of us are short on time, but still want to get our training in. We don’t necessarily need to spend an hour or more training each day. The benefits of shorter sessions provide increased flexibility in your daily schedule and allow you to prioritize your health while juggling family, work, and social obligations.
Unfortunately, many folks stop training altogether before they even get a chance to reap the benefits of the sessions. If that’s the case, I recommend shorter sessions throughout the week, which may make it easier to stick to your fitness routine. Incorporating shorter training sessions into your week can reduce the stress or anticipation that some people have towards a training session.
Shorter workouts allow people with busy schedules to focus on what they can perform in small controlled spurts throughout the day without feeling overwhelmed by committing a huge amount of time to train. Short sessions are also easy to schedule and more sustainable to perform and commit to long-term, and they allow for more focused, intensive, and intentional exercise to occur, especially if you’re easily distracted.
One option is interval training. This is a great way to maximize your training and time. Start by replacing one or two of your regular aerobic workouts (such as cycling, swimming, or walking) with interval sessions of the same activity.
As you become accustomed to the program, you can add more high-intensity segments while shortening both the speed and recovery periods. Eventually, you might be able to gradually adjust the length of the speed and recovery intervals until they’re equal. Think of how hard you train on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being light and 10 exerting yourself as hard as you possibly can. You can adapt that basic program by pushing yourself harder during the exertion phase, but for a shorter period of time, and taking a longer time to recover. So you might alternate between 30 seconds at a nine on the intensity scale with four minutes at 4-5 on the intensity scale.
Here’s an example of a format to follow:
- 4-5 exercises
- Set your watch for 3 minutes and perform 30 seconds of one exercise, followed by 30 seconds of another
- Alternate until the 3 minutes is up
Bodyweight Circuit Example:
- 30 seconds bodyweight squats
- 30 seconds jumping jacks
- 30-second push-ups
- 30 seconds rest
Repeat 4–5 times.
Ashley LaMorte is a nationally certified fitness instructor and has been in the fitness industry for close to a decade. Over the years Ashley has gotten the opportunity to instruct group X boot camps at gyms and train private clients from all walks of life, all over the bay area. She now has her own mobile fitness business LaMorte Lift. You can learn more about Ashley at LaMorteLift.com.